A week long refreshers’ training course on the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 standard for competence of the testing and calibration laboratories has been conducted from 11th – 17th June 2013 for the laboratory officials of National Food Testing Laboratory (NFTL), BAFRA, Yusipang. Dr. G. M Tewari, UNIDO International Laboratory Expert was the resource person through support from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Project on Standards, Metrology, Testing and Quality (SMTQ). The main objectives of such trainings are to sustain and upgrade the accredited scope of NFTL.
The training programme covered the following aspects:
- Effective participation in Inter Laboratory Comparison (ILC) and Inter Laboratory Proficiency Testing (ILPT) programmes and their report preparations and documentations.
- However, much of the focus was given to ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 Internal Audit Procedures, Method Validation and Measurement of Uncertainty which are integral aspects of laboratory accreditation processes.
- During the training, the additional scope of test parameters in food chemical and microbiological analyses were recommended using test methods customized from the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC – Codex Standard) along with other regional standards.
Further, the training also identified and recommended additional key technical inputs in terms of manpower skills and facilities for successful implementation of ISO/IEC 17025: 2005 in preparation for the periodic surveillance audits and maintenance of NFTL accreditation status and concluded with the award of certificates to the participants.
Currently, NFTL is accredited for both food chemical and microbiological test parameters as follows:
ü 12 (Twelve) Chemical Parameters viz. Ph, degree bix, acidity, acid insoluble ash, water soluble ash, total ash, total dissolved solids, total sugar content, dry matter content, moisture, alkalinity, total hardness.
ü 3 (Three) Microbiological Parameters viz. Total Plate Count, Total Coliform Count and Yeast and Mould Count.
Currently, the NFTL accredited scope covers 5 (Five) food product categories such as processed fruits & vegetables, non beverages, cereal products, bakery products including drinking water.
NFTL has immediate plan for accreditation of additional chemical test parameters such as heavy metal contaminants, protein and fats. The facilities for handling pathogenic food microbes such as salmonella, E. coli, staphylococci and shigella are under process.
The revised scope of accreditation would cover other food product categories such as oils & fats, tea & coffee, milk & milk products, alcoholic beverages, honey, sea foods, meat & products, egg & egg products, spices & condiments, coca & byproducts and confectioneries.
-Reported by: NFTL,BAFRA, Yusipang
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